From the magazine

Ram dunk in the Pilbara

In October 2014, drilling contractor Pipeline Drillers was engaged by Monadelphous KT Pipelines to undertake a series of challenging trenchless works associated with the Fortescue River Gas Pipeline (FRGP) project.

After conducting initial scoping and research on site in Western Australia, the Pipeline Drillers team identified several circumstances associated with the project site. These included varying ground conditions as well as numerous stakeholders, with many of the crossings to occur inside the FMG Solomon Hub iron ore mine. To top it all off, these factors were combined with a very tight time frame for completion.

Critical crossing

Initial works for the project progressed well, with eight crossings completed as planned in varying ground conditions, ranging from sandy loam with light amounts of cobble to hard rock ranging from 40-60 megapascals.

Then came the challenging part for Pipeline Drillers. The most critical crossings of the pipeline were located inside the FMG Solomon Hub iron ore mine, crossing a haul road and export rail lines. Both bores were 60 m long and required 608 mm enveloper pipes. The ground conditions, comprising powdered dry clay with large amounts of cobble, were difficult. Two attempts were made to pilot hole at the haul road, however the conditions were too loose and binding, making for a very high risk horizontal directional drilling operation.

After reviewing all the available options, including alternative trenchless solutions, the safest and most competent way to install the crossing was decided upon: pipe ramming. Following technical advice and expert assistance from equipment manufacturer TT ASIA PACIFIC, the best machine to complete the pneumatic ramming job was the GRUNDORAM GOLIATH. The machine was purchased and, thanks to the excellent customer service and support received from the team at TT ASIA PACIFIC, Pipeline Drillers received the machine from TT ASIA PACIFIC’s German parent company to the job site within only five days.

GRUNDORAM GOLIATH flies first class

Once the machine had arrived at the job site from overseas, the crossings were completed in two weeks with the assistance of TT ASIA PACIFIC’s John Walsh. This was an unprecedented time frame for such a demanding job, reinforcing the correct decision to purchase a GRUNDORAM GOLIATH.

Following the successful completion of the project, Pipeline Drillers was very happy and satisfied with the GRUNDORAM GOLIATH. Pipeline Drillers Managing Director John Whitbread said, “We look forward to taking the GRUNDORAM GOLIATH to new projects with similar challenges”.


Since 1998, TRACTO-TECHNIK’S Brisbane-based Australian subsidiary TT ASIA-PACIFIC has been offering innovative trenchless methods and equipment solutions to customers in Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam.

Customers are supported by a strong distributor network, with excellent customer presale and after sale service which is a number one priority for the company. This dual focus on quality product and exemplary customer service makes TT ASIA PACIFIC a top choice for all trenchless requirements.

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